The Conservative Email Political Rumor Mill
Will Americans be subjected to international gun-control laws under a new U.N. treaty signed by Hillary Rodham Clinton? Is the president honoring Jane Fonda as one of the “women of the century”? Was suspected Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan an adviserto the Obama administration?
Like the Medicare story, these claims are demonstrably false, too. Nevertheless, they are popular on the thriving underground e-mail circuit, a carnival of nonsense whose star attractions have included the canard that Obama is a secret Muslim and variations on the “birther” claims about his origins…
But it has become a truism that in their modern, Internet-driven form, these persistent narratives spread far faster and run deeper than ever. And they share an unexpected trait: Most of the time, Democrats (or liberals) are the ones under attack. Yes, George W. Bush had some whoppers told about him — such as his alleged scoffing that the French “don’t have a word for ‘entrepreneur’ ” — but when it comes to generating and sustaining specious and shocking stories, there’s no contest. The majority of the junk comes from the right, aimed at the left.
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